Introduction to Blog

I launched the website and the Blog after having spoken to government officials, political analysts and security experts specializing in South Asian affairs from three continents. The feedback was uniformly consistent. The bottom line is that when Kashmiris are suffering and the world has its own set of priorities, we need to find ways to help each other. We must be realistic, go beyond polemics and demagoguery, and propose innovative ideas that will bring peace, justice and prosperity in all of Jammu and Kashmir.

The author had two reasons to create this blog. First, it was to address the question that was being asked repeatedly, especially, by journalists and other observers in the U.S., U.K., and Canada, inquiring whether the Kashmiri society was concerned about social, cultural and environmental challenges in the valley given that only political upheaval and violence were reported or highlighted by media.

Second, the author has covered the entire spectrum of societal issues and challenges facing Kashmiri people over an 8-year period with the exception of politics given that politics gets all the exposure at the expense of REAL CHALLENGES that will likely result in irreversible degradation in the quality of life and the standard of living for future generations of Kashmiris to come.

The author stopped adding additional material to the Blog once it was felt that most, if not all, concerns, challenges and issues facing the Kashmiri society are cataloged in the Blog. There are over 1900 entries in the Blog and most commentaries include short biographical sketches of authors to bring readers close to the essence of Kashmir. Unfortunately, the 8-year assessment also indicates that neither Kashmiri civil society, nor intellectuals or political leadership have any inclination or enthusiasm in pursuing issues that do not coincide with their vested political agendas. What it means for the future of Kashmiri children and their children is unfathomable. But the evidence is all laid out.

This Blog is a reality check on Kashmir. It is a historical record of how Kashmir lost its way.

Vijay Sazawal, Ph.D.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Easier Said Than Done: Investors will come only when the State demonstrates fiscal discipline

The potential for private investment in J&K is high PROVIDED politicians and bureaucrats clean up their act and ensure transparency and good governance

State can be hub for investors: Report

Jammu, April 6: The state, which has the potential to attract Rs 27,800 crore of investment in the next five years, could become a hub for investors. Thus, it will be able to export Rs 13,000 crore worth of goods and create around 25 lakh new job opportunities in the state.

This has been stated in a report titled “Jammu and Kashmir striving for industrial revolution” released by the associated chambers of commerce and industry of India (ASSOCHAM). The report which was released by ASSOCHAM president Venugopal N. Dhoot in Jammu today said the state had a vast potential for agro-based and bio-technical units.

Speaking to The Tribune on the sidelines of the report releasing function Venugopal said, “The most promising areas in which the state can attract investment from outside include food processing - agro-based industries, floriculture, handicrafts, leather processing and leather goods.”

He added, “Besides, sports, forest-based industries, processing of aromatic plants, herbs, bulk drugs, hosiery units can be established in the state.”

He said Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad had extended a helping hand to bring in investment in the state.

“We have requested Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to extend an extra package of Rs 5,000 crore for raising the infrastructure for investments in the state,” Dhoot said.

The report also stated that the state had immense opportunities in hydropower generation, handloom and handicraft exports, gems and jewellery and development of tourism.

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